8 votes

Continuing My Education with a CS Degree in Canada [A Help Thread]

My Goal

I am applying to Canadian universities for fall admission as a CS major. This will be my second degree, and one of the requirements of getting admitted for a second degree is to show that you have a significant interest in the subject. My plan is to get online certificates to show that I am actually dedicated to learning CS and getting a job in the field. I am actually dedicated, I just need a way to show it on paper. I have some experience with software development (only the basics), but there aren't any records of it since it was just informal study.

My Problem

I can't decide which certificates I should pursue. I am torn between EdX and Udemy. I would Tilderinos' help in choosing between the two. I would also appreciate any general advice you may have.

Here are the courses I plan to take on EdX (prices in USD):

UBC's MicroMasters Program in
Software Development
- $832

Harvard CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript - $199

IBM's Professional Certificate in
Cloud Application Development Foundations
- $169

Here are the courses I plan to take on Udemy:

The Ultimate 2021 Fullstack Web Development Bootcamp - $15

The Complete 2021 Web Development Bootcamp - $15

The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert - $30

Angular - The Complete Guide (2021 Edition) - $15

Comparisons

To reiterate, I have two goals going into this. One is to actually learn web development, since I would like to become a fullstack developer (but my options are semi-open). The other is to prove to the Canadian universities that I am dedicated to learning and to give myself an edge over applicants.

If I go with EdX, then I have to pay a much steeper price for the certificates. These courses also take a long time to get through and the projects don't seem as relevant to real word applications. But I will also be learning from established institutions like Harvard and UBC. EdX certificates also come with the distinct advantage that a human is checking the problem sets you submit. This will show the Canadian universities that I have actually spent the time and effort to go through the courses and pass them.

If I go with Udemy, I will get through the courses in less time and their projects seem more related to real world projects. If I go through the courses faster, I will also have more time to start on some personal projects, and I can show my dedication to learning through those projects. Personal projects and also volunteer work will also help establish a resumé for future work. The courses on Udemy are a lot cheaper too. But they don't have the same level of verification or prestige that EdX does.

So in summary, EdX has prestige and quality courses, but a steep prices and a huge time commitment. Udemy is cheaper and gives me more opportunities to do personal projects and volunteer work, but it's certificates aren't fully trustworthy from the Canadian universities' perspective.

Final Words

What do you think? Which path should I take?

For those of you wondering, why I am going to university instead of a bootcamp, it's because I plan to immigrate to Canada and becoming a student seems the straightest way of getting PR. I need to leave my third world country as soon as I can, for mental health and economic reasons. I have been mostly unemployed ever since the pandemic started so I can't get work in Canada (or the U.S.) on my first degree (a management degree). I already tried that route. I can't find proper work here either.

Also, I am sorry if I posted in the wrong group, or if I shouldn't have posted it anywhere at all. I desperately need advice on what to do and I don't have a trustworthy network here that can help me through this. I'm sorry and thank you for your help.

6 comments

  1. [3]
    streblo
    Link
    Are you sure this is a thing? I have two unrelated degrees and never had an issue enrolling the second time around. If you're thinking you're not a competitive enough of an applicant to get...

    This will be my second degree, and one of the requirements of getting admitted for a second degree is to show that you have a significant interest in the subject.

    Are you sure this is a thing? I have two unrelated degrees and never had an issue enrolling the second time around. If you're thinking you're not a competitive enough of an applicant to get admitted at a big university look into a smaller one or a college with a bridge program into the school you want to attend. You will have no problems getting into a smaller school and provided you can meet the bridge program requirements you will get into your target school as well.

    3 votes
    1. Wolf
      Link Parent
      From the research I have done so far, yes, it's a thing. I will look into the requirements for the smaller schools and see if they have the same requirements.

      From the research I have done so far, yes, it's a thing. I will look into the requirements for the smaller schools and see if they have the same requirements.

      2 votes
    2. Pistos
      Link Parent
      Indeed. The impression I got from the major universities in Canada is: "we'll gladly take lots of your money", so I assumed the filtering was much less for "you need to be good enough for us" but...

      Indeed. The impression I got from the major universities in Canada is: "we'll gladly take lots of your money", so I assumed the filtering was much less for "you need to be good enough for us" but more for "we want to skim off the best out of the superabundance of applicants".

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I'm sure someone else (who actually lives in Canada, who isn't earning their first degree) can offer a better answer, but: I've never heard of those courses except CS50, and the EdX list overall...

    I'm sure someone else (who actually lives in Canada, who isn't earning their first degree) can offer a better answer, but:

    • I've never heard of those courses except CS50, and the EdX list overall seems more "professional" I guess
    • I would recommend, in addition to completing online certificates, building a portfolio of your own work that you can show off, such as through GitHub. Your portfolio should be something you build over time as you learn.
    • Does Canada have the equivalent of community colleges? If they do, their admission requirements are probably much lower than their universities, especially for students seeking a second degree. I'd recommend checking one of those out first, and then planning to transfer to a university after a year or two
    2 votes
    1. Loire
      Link Parent
      We do indeed have the equivalent of community colleges, as well as Polytechnic schools.

      We do indeed have the equivalent of community colleges, as well as Polytechnic schools.

      3 votes
    2. Wolf
      Link Parent
      Thanks. I will look into that. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan.

      Does Canada have the equivalent of community colleges? If they do, their admission requirements are probably much lower than their universities, especially for students seeking a second degree. I'd recommend checking one of those out first, and then planning to transfer to a university after a year or two

      Thanks. I will look into that. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan.

      1 vote